Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

HM Revenue and Customs

Part of Supplementary Estimates 2009-10 — Department of Health – in the House of Commons at 5:16 pm on 10th March 2010.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker Shadow Secretary of State for Transport 5:16 pm, 10th March 2010

There are two separate issues, one of which is the regional imbalance. I have some sympathy-as does the Select Committee, I think-with the view that there has been a regional imbalance as regards how much is spent on London, in particular, compared with other parts of the country. However, the thrust of the right hon. Gentleman's argument-that motorists are paying for the rail network-fails to take account of other factors such as the need to reduce carbon emissions, the social benefits of investing in rail, and wider Government policies of social inclusion. Moreover, investment in the rail network encourages people to shift from road to rail, thereby freeing up the roads for those who are obliged to use them, so the motorist also benefits from investment in the rail network. There has to be a sensible balance.